AP: Atlantic Club to Close Jan. 13 Following Sale
According to the Associated Press, the Atlantic Club casino in Atlantic City will close Jan. 13, 2014, after a sale to two as-of-yet unknown buyers.
The AP report has been picked by news organization’s around the country as of 2pm on Friday, when the much-anticipated new information was announced.
Wayne Parry, for the AP, reports the following:
The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in Atlantic City says it will close on Jan. 13, reducing the number of casinos in the struggling gambling resort to 11.
It will be the first Atlantic City casino to close since the Sands shut down in 2006 to make way for a new casino project that never got built.
The casino said Friday it reached two sale agreements that will be submitted to a judge Monday for approval. It did not list either buyer, but a bankruptcy court filing identified one as Caesars Entertainment.
The document filed Friday afternoon lists the purchase price as $15 million.
“First and foremost I would like to express my profound admiration and respect for the employees of this company,” said Michael Frawley, chief operating officer of the Atlantic Club. “The events of the last few months have evoked an array of emotions, and through it all, the employees of the Atlantic Club have remained consummate professionals. It is because of these outstanding individuals that we were able to build considerable momentum over the last year. Unfortunately our pace was unsustainable in the extremely challenging Atlantic City gaming market.”
He said the casino will operate normally until the Jan. 13 closing date.
A Caesars spokesman could not immediately say what the company’s plans for the property are. But the court filing contains provisions requiring the sellers to remove all gambling equipment at their own expense. Caesars is to meet with New Jersey gambling regulators within three days to determine what approvals will be necessary in order to end gambling on the premises.
That would seem to indicate the company may utilize the hotel portion of the property as a non-casino hotel. It already owns four casinos in Atlantic City — Caesars, Harrah’s, Bally’s and the Showboat — and hotel rooms for gamblers are at a premium on weekends.
The second purchaser was not mentioned in either the Atlantic Club press release or the court filing. Tony Rodio, president of the Tropicana Casino and resort, which was rumored to have been a participant in the auction, declined comment Friday.
Word of the shutdown came on the fourth day of a bankruptcy court auction.
The Atlantic Club thus became the first Atlantic City casino to fall victim to the insidious downward spiral the resort has found itself in since the advent of casinos in neighboring Pennsylvania that began in late 2006.
Atlantic City’s casino revenues reached a high of $5.2 billion that year, and will likely fall below $3 billion this year.
Analysts have long said Atlantic City has more casinos than the now-diminished market can bear.
Another struggling casino, Revel Casino Hotel, could be headed for a second bankruptcy filing, or could be sold to new owners soon.